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"British buglers in reverse colors" Topic


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davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2018 5:22 a.m. PST

I'm planning on using buglers instead of drummers for my light regiments. Did the buglers wear reverse colors like the drummers? There is a picture in Funcken of a light infantry bugler (71st Highland) in reverse colors but I thought I'd tap the collective wisdom of TMP.

Artilleryman30 Mar 2018 6:08 a.m. PST

Yes, the buglers tended to be dressed the same as drummers with reversed facings where appropriate. (Red coats with blue facings in the 'Royal' regiments.) This should have changed in 1812 with the new regulations which abolished reversed facings. However, given individual colonels' tastes and the inefficiency of resupply in Spain, reversed facings were still to be seen in 1814 and may even have been around during Waterloo though that is less likely.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2018 9:13 a.m. PST

Thanks for your prompt reply. This makes things a bit easier for me. I have both troops in stovepipe and Belgic shakos. Any unit that was at Waterloo gets grey pants and the Belgic shako (except the 28th who got to keep theirs as a battle honor). The rest get painted for the peninsula.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2018 1:54 p.m. PST

Oh you poor simple person…(note I did not say man…you could have XX chromosomes these days or some combination way beyond that )

The Belgic shako at Waterloo?

For all but the 28th…yer kidding. The Glorious Gl's are the least likely to get away with anything but the "Belgic Shako". Loads of evidence, they could not do it. (Mine would though). You will tell me next that the Gren. Co still carried captured French backpacks…..Oh sure… (Mine will)

Let me tell you now to dress your Light Inf Regts and Rifles in "Stovepipe shakos"……………and 28th……… because anything else is horrific.

Forget the evidence, which is a bit ….disturbing….OK it might be right, but who cares?

The Regulation was to adopt the "Belgic" (it was more Portuguese in truth) cap for all units progressively from 1812, but, by 1815, it surely was the norm. I do not care. Keep your evidence and place it where you will.

Next you will tell me the water bottle did not have any white lettering on it……

42flanker30 Mar 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

Now, this is how rumours start….- FWIW, and it doesn't affect deadhead's profound philosphical advice, if the 28th were still wearing the older pattern cap, it was definitely not as a battle honour.

Did I just say 'definitely'?

von Winterfeldt30 Mar 2018 11:10 p.m. PST


Forget the evidence, which is a bit ….disturbing….OK it might be right, but who cares?
</p>

I do and I would welcome any profound discussion about how the British Army looked like in the 1815 campaign other than beloved fiction

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

You are right. I should not have said "who cares?" but, rather, who will actually change their practice however strong the evidence?

Would anyone really put "Belgic" caps onto 95th or 28th or 51st/52nd/43rd/71st?

janner Inactive Member31 Mar 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

The 28th were apparently in stovepipes because, according to War Office records, their stock of 1812P were lost at sea.

And don't worry about the lettering on the waterbottles, Deadhead, there is evidance to support that… wink

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

This is the battle honor I was referring to:

"In March 1801 the regiment formed part of the British expeditionary force that landed at Aboukir Bay in Egypt to oppose Napoleon's Army of the East. On 21 March, during the Battle of Alexandria, French cavalry broke through the British lines, formed up behind the regiment, and began to charge. Still heavily engaged to their front, the order was given "Rear Rank, 28th! Right About Face", and standing thus in two ranks, back to back, the regiment successfully defended itself. For this action the regiment was accorded the unique privilege of wearing the regimental number both on the front and the back of its head-dress."

Albeit this is from Wiki so not exactly gospel but then what source is?

von Winterfeldt31 Mar 2018 7:55 a.m. PST


Would anyone really put "Belgic" caps onto 95th or 28th or 51st/52nd/43rd/71st?

I would for sure – in case it is likley.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

"Egypt" and the sphinx is the back badge on any headgear of the 28th and their successors ever since….but could just as easily go on a Belgic cap. I prefer to believe the stock lost at sea suggestion…and do wonder how the caps all ended up in the sea….and accident I am sure….almost sure!

dibble31 Mar 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

janner

And don't worry about the lettering on the waterbottles, Deadhead, there is evidance to support that

Which is?

Paul :)

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 1:58 p.m. PST

I know I'm going off topic here, but I wonder if there's some as yet unpublished memoir languishing in an attic that would answer these questions, a sort of Waterloo Dead Sea Scrolls. Some young officer who decided to neglect his duties and instead wandered around the field on the morning of 18 June making meticulous notes of what each unit was wearing. Stating that buglers did indeed wear reversed colours, the 28th and 95th wore stovepipes, the British trumpeters rode grey horses, the guards were in white overalls, the Dutch carabiniers wore brass helmets,and that through his telescope he spotted a few Mamelukes. It could happen, you never know.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

What a brilliant summary of a task for any of us, if given a time machine.

I would also nip down to LHS and check how many had rifles and how many had muskets. I might just try to catch Baring and ask him had he thought about ammo supply.

I would then pop up to Ponsonby's lads and see if the Scots Greys wore a white plume.

I would just follow Ewart and try to work out what happened (actually maybe not, might be a bit dangerous for my taste…let us stick to before 1130)

I might then be tempted to cross "No man's land" but would probably be shot as a spy….OK let us forget that too.

I would drop in on the 71st and check out this tourie vs feather on their headgear. I would ask to capture their buff leather on my I phone as I really cannot work out the shade.

I would catch up with any Netherlands foot unit of the "Dutch" persuasion and look for the back peak (or not)…..

Oh if only……..

Three Armies31 Mar 2018 3:44 p.m. PST

Belgic shakos on light infantry, nonsense. How long will that silly debate rumble on with certain people claiming their opinion as facts? Probably as long and divisive as the bayonet debate.

42flanker01 Apr 2018 4:59 p.m. PST

On 21 March, during the Battle of Alexandria, French cavalry broke through the British lines, formed up behind the regiment, and began to charge. Still heavily engaged to their front, the order was given "Rear Rank, 28th! Right About Face", and standing thus in two ranks, back to back, the regiment successfully defended itself. For this action the regiment was accorded the unique privilege of wearing the regimental number both on the front and the back of its head-dress."


The thing is, the'Back Number' of the 28th was not a battle honour. As with all units that served in Abercromby's expeditionary force, they were awarded the badge of a Sphinx superscribed 'Egypt' to be displayed on colours and appointments.

The 'Back Number' on the shako was a commemorative emblem adopted by the 28th at some point after their return from Egypt; the silver lozenge with female Sphinx on plinth, with Egypt and numeral‘28' below, being first recorded around 1805 by an officer who referred to it as the 'double front.'

Sometime in 1823, the 28th were asked by the Adjutant General's Dept to provide authority for their non-regulation cap ornament. The regiment's answer was not recorded but it was evidently satisfactory since the AG Dept informed them :

"….it was never our intention to deprive the 28th Regiment of any badge of honour they may have acquired by their distinguished service in Egypt and that there will be no objection to their retaining the plate they have been accustomed to wear on the back of their caps since that service, for which this letter may be shown by you to the Inspecting General Officer as sufficient authority. 
I have &c."

The irregularity evidently continued to cause comment and in 1843 the issue was taken to the highest court-
"The Duke of Wellington does not object to the continuance in wear of these ornaments by the officers and soldiers of the 28th Regiment."

With reference to the cap worn by the 28th in 1815, what does this snippet tell us?-

"An unidentified Staff Officer, 28th March 1815 – "I recognised Picton's division standing at attention. In a few minutes the troops broke into subdivisions …. The old 28th followed, having their number both front and rear of their low caps, a memorial of Egypt."

glosters.org.uk

redcoat.info/Alex01.html

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 8:20 a.m. PST

"both front and rear of their low caps" Dear God! Does this add a third possibility into the fray? Were they wearing fatigue caps during battle? Can't we just go back to discussing a safe topic like how often cavalry broke squares?

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2018 10:07 a.m. PST

Or who invented the bricole?

Is someone now going to tell us that "low" simply meant "old" back then?

Or was the "Belgic" cap considered "low" because the crown was noticeably lower than that of the Stovepipe?

spontoon02 Apr 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

I've always interpreted the "low caps" quote as meaning Belgic shakos; as the crown of a Belgic is lower than that of a stovepipe shako.

von Winterfeldt23 Apr 2018 5:10 a.m. PST

Here a copy of an original print of Klein, KGL – in 1815

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4th Cuirassier23 Apr 2018 7:45 a.m. PST

@ Lambert

What would be quite funny is if the same diarist had written that he hung around Plancenoit till 7pm, but at no time did he notice any Prussians.

@ von W

That's interesting – is that bloke on the right wearing his pack in a non-canonical way?

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

Also, the centre company man (with the pipe) is carrying a lot of facial hair for a non-pioneer. Were the regulations waived for German troops in His Majesty's service?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Apr 2018 11:51 p.m. PST

Very much so. That is the great fun with KGL esp the Light Battalions and, even more the few Light Cos of KGL Line Bttns that carried the Baker.

You end up with a rifleman, but in a red coat, with a rifleman's rig (flask, waist belt, belt pouch etc) in white throughout not black….and all with enormous whiskers!

4th Cuirassier24 Apr 2018 3:44 a.m. PST

Mercer noted that the Prussians all had long straggly moustaches. Most of his troop's losses were the result of friendly fire by a Prussian battery that enfiladed him after the general advance started. He was able to identify them as Prussian by their facial hair.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 5:30 a.m. PST

Most makers show KGL with plenty of facial hair. eg Brigade Games Miniatures do this chap from Light Co 5th Line KGL. They do him in stovepipe cap for Peninsula but I needed him in LHS;

picture

von Winterfeldt24 Apr 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

I wouldn't just trust makers per se, some are excellent with their research – others aren't

Brandis, who served in the Hannoverian Army – states that 2nd light battalion tried to wear mousetaches, but sometimes to their sorrow they had to shave them off.

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